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Why I Quit my Job to Blog Full-Time!

In the cold winter months of February, jobless and struggling with my mental health, I launched a blog with little to no plan for its future. Fast forward to today, after a journey down the Pinterest rabbit hole, and blogging has consumed me! I quit my job to blog full-time!

Caffeine and Conquer started as a small blog on Blogger, Google’s free blogging platform. It was creatively named “Sarah Fournier” and was a project to occupy my time until I landed a job.

But things didn’t pan out that way, probably for the best too.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. For more information see the disclosure policy.

It was a weird time in my life. I had been struggling with the physical symptoms of stress and anxiety and was diagnosed with a huge ovarian cyst.

My anxiety mildly reappeared at the beginning of 2017. It was my last year of college, I was looking forward to graduating and entering the workforce.

You know, be a regular adult in the real world!

I completed an internship at a museum between January-April 2017 and was offered a contract summer position afterward. Things were looking up!

Summer ended, and so did the contract position. Queue the post-grad struggles.

I worked for a little bit at a bookstore and then at a call center. I also had an interview lined up for an internship at an art museum in my city!

In October 2017, I discovered a had a cyst or tumor in my abdomen. After this point, my mental health went downhill. I couldn’t handle the daily stresses of life anymore and I shut down.

I healed from the surgery for two months, tried to return to work but my anxiety symptoms were going from mild to severe. It started to happen everywhere I went! Anytime I went out or had to speak to someone, I had extreme dizziness and shortness of breath. 

I couldn’t just ignore it anymore and continue with my responsibilities, it became too much to handle EVERY SINGLE DAY.

I visited my doctor, asked to be put back on an SSRI, I quit my job and went on social assistance.

Photograph of a pug wrapped in a blanket looking miserable.

This might sound crazy, but this low point in my life was probably meant to happen.

Mental health issues are very difficult to understand, especially if you’ve never experienced it yourself. You can ask me why standing in a line up in a store made me dizzy and short of breath, and my answer will be “I have no idea”.

I didn’t have any fear or anxious thoughts about being in a lineup. It just happened out of the blue.

The fact that medication helps me so much makes me suspect it’s a chemical imbalance that I need medication to treat. However, I also believe unhappiness, discontent and other similar emotions can manifest themselves as physical symptoms in some people (especially panic attacks).

If something is right you will know it. I decided not to return to work and focus entirely on my blog.

After about a month of writing online, I felt like I was on to something good.

I went down the Pinterest rabbit hole. If you’re a blogger then you know what I’m talking about. The amount of resources accessible to us on Pinterest, by other bloggers, is amazing!

What started as a personal blog to keep me busy, turned into “I can do this for a living?… Oh my god, I have to do this!” I was enjoying writing so much that the idea of turning this into a career just made sense. I’ve always been a creative person and stumbled on a way to leverage these creative talents.

I was also not waking up every morning anymore feel unmotivated and miserable about showing up to a job I wasn’t even interested in.

I didn’t announce this to my family right away but I knew I wasn’t planning on returning to work. You would probably do the same if the alternative was working in a miserable minimum wage job. I made the decision to give this blogging thing a try, and when I put my mind to something I do it.

A photograph of me peaking over a book, "Educated" by Tara Westover.

I quit my job to blog full-time! There is a lot that I have learned that I want to share with you.

Whether you just launched your blog or are thinking of starting one, I have some advice for you. While I wouldn’t change how I did things if my situation had been different I would have approached this differently.

With that said…

I do not recommend blogging full-time right from the start. I quit my job to blog full-time due to mental health struggles.

This is definitely not the smartest choice. Responsible adults will tell you to keep your 9-5 cubicle job and grow your online empire during your free time. That if you truly want something you will work really hard for it.

And I agree with them to an extent.

Building a successful online business through blogging takes time and patience. It isn’t a loop-hole in the game called life where you get rich quick.

Your blog will grow slowly over time and your revenue will likely not sustain you for a while. This is why most start as a side hustle and grow from there.

I have been blogging for six months and am finally starting to earn some revenue now, but nowhere near enough to replace a job.

However, due to my special circumstances, I had decided to focus entirely on growing my blog and support myself with social assistance until it picks up.

There is nothing wrong with blogging full-time immediately, especially if you’re unemployed. It just won’t replace the income you could get right away.

Another reason to keep your 9-5  is that the saying, “it costs money to make money” is accurate!

You can run a blog for free if it’s just for personal use, however, if your planning on making money off it you have to spend money to get there.

Some of the expenses you can expect as a professional blogger might include:

  • Self-hosting – This blog has been hosted on Bluehost for $2.75 a month from June 2018-June 2019 and is now hosted with Siteground!
  • Domain name – I purchased caffeineandconquer.com through Google Domains, which I later transferred to my host.
  • Theme – Paid themes usually offer more features and flexibility. The theme I am currently using was $25 on Etsy!
  • Social media scheduling – I use Tailwind for everything Pinterest related.
  • Stock photographs – While there are free stock image websites it is best to use paid because they are used less by other websites. I recommend iStock.
  • Outsourcing – Hiring virtual assistants, graphic designers and photographers is a commonly outsourced.
  • Supplies – Camera, laptop, COFFEE.
  • Apps – Video editing, project management, social media scheduling, and graphic design apps.
  • Email service – I use MailChimp which is free for the first 2,000 subscriptions.
  • Advertising – Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest ads all cost money

 

 

One of the only things I regret about blogging full-time without an income is that I can’t afford to make useful purchases that will help my business grow. I have to wait to earn income before I can advertise, which isn’t great.

For example, in July I launched my services as a Pinterest Social Media Manager. However, I didn’t have any money to advertise it on social media! This would have been very helpful.

If you are truly interested in launching your own blog and building an online community then start it as a side hustle.

If you are unemployed and growing your own business online, then all the power to you! You are amazing and I would love to connect!

Leaving your 9-5 cubicle job to grow your own business takes gumption! Dealing with mental health issues just makes us stronger. I’m interested in meeting women like you and creating an online community.

I’m considering creating a Facebook group and would love to know who would join!

Leave a comment on this post and let me know! Share your story with the rest of us so we can get to know you.

Lastly, make sure to follow me on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook!

Pinnable image with a photograph of plants on the left side and text overlay in purple and orange that says: "Find out why I quit my job to blog full-time! Join a community of women who are excited about personal growth. Check out caffeineandconquer.com"

 

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Comments

  1. Annie says

    I’m in a similar boat. I dropped out of school in May because of my MH but now I need to find a job and there’s nothing I’ve found yet that I’ve found fulfilling besides making YouTube videos and blog posts. I haven’t been motivated to do anything until going to SitC yesterday and I’m like “I want to do these both as a career so I can be creative and help people”. But I’m in between giving up and finding “a real job” and just going for it

    • sarah.fournier says

      Hi Annie! I’m so glad we connected over this post. I went on over to your blog and love it! I think there is something about being creative and helping people that is so rewarding. Following you on social media. Lets keep in touch!

  2. Lori Fournier says

    You shouldn’t keep things from your parents. Parents are here to support and help their kids. But I still love you anyway. lol

  3. Ruth says

    I’m so glad I’ve read this! I mean, I already thought you were a rockstar, but it turns out our stories are quite similar. Although, I haven’t had a cyst, and I’m really sorry you went through that.

    I turned to blogging when I became unemployed after leaving my job because of mental illness, and it makes me smile to know there’s someone out there who’s in the same situation. (Well, minus the mental illness part, I’m obviously not happy about that for either of us!)

    As you’ve said, it’s not the conventional route, and there’s a reason for that. I sometimes wonder if I’ve lost my mind, but reading this made me feel better, to know I’m not the only one pursuing it as an alternative to returning to any other type of job.

    Can’t wait to watch your grow and achieve success!

    • sarah.fournier says

      Thanks so much for commenting!

      That’s why I was so drawn to your blog, I can relate to your posts 100%. I also know what you’re going through. When I chose to take the path I’m currently taking I was so concerned about disappointing my parents and family, but learning that other people like you are doing the same thing just shows we’re making the right choices for us.

  4. Monique Labelle-Wheeler says

    Hi Sarah! Just happened on your blog and saw that I was on it as labelle_eco_life! Thanks so much for the exposure. I’ve been saying forever that I want to start a real blog so I’ll follow your steps to use wordpress. Hope I can manage the tech part of it! ?

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